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Income and Work

Minnesota has one of the highest rates of labor force participation in the country, but that doesn’t mean that all Minnesotans are able to make ends meet. We research economic trends to understand who’s faring well in today’s economy, and who is left behind. We advocate for economic policies, particularly those that improve wages and job quality standards, so that more Minnesotans can thrive.

Research

December 2018

Minnesotans face barriers in the labor market, despite top line unemployment numbers

Minnesota's low unemployment rate and high labor force participation are two indicators of where Minnesota's economy is doing well. However, these numbers hide the fact that Minnesotans across the state are still struggling to get ahead even in the economic recovery.

November 2018

State of working Minnesota: Many Minnesotans working hard but barriers keep them from making ends meet

Minnesota has experienced a fairly strong economic recovery since the Great Recession, with low overall unemployment and a growing economy. However, many Minnesotans have not seen the wage growth we would expect nearly a decade into an economic recovery. And many still face barriers to finding good jobs and supporting themselves and their families, according to analysis of 2017 data from the Economic Policy Institute.

November 2017

Some Minnesotans struggling despite top line figures showing economic prosperity

The economic recovery has taken hold in Minnesota. A low unemployment rate and high labor force participation indicate a relatively strong labor market. This strong labor market hides the fact that some Minnesotans are still struggling to get ahead in today’s economy. Groups that struggled in the past – those who are have less than a high school education, communities of color, recent immigrants, and the young – still face employment barriers today.

October 2016

Minnesota economy improving but harsh disparities leave too many workers behind: The state of working Minnesota 2016

The U.S. economic recovery has been slow. Although Minnesota hasn’t been immune to the effects of an economic recovery characterized by fits and starts, Minnesota’s economy has a number of strengths, compared to the recent past and to national trends. Some economic indicators are back to pre-recession levels, including unemployment. Considering perhaps our most comparable neighbor, Wisconsin, our relative economic strength shines through with Minnesota’s higher labor force participation and higher median wages.

Income and Work Blog Posts

May 14, 2021

Driver’s licenses for all is important for building an equitable recovery

Expanding access to driver’s licenses regardless of immigration status would advance the economic success of our state....

April 22, 2021

Expanding paid leave to more workers would build an equitable recovery

As we continue to live through a global pandemic and perhaps the most unequal recession in modern history, we have...

April 06, 2021

The American Rescue Plan – a buoy for workers, families, essential public services, and the economy

The American Rescue Plan provides important and much needed economic support for struggling workers and their families, will protect and expand crucial public services that they count on, and will further jumpstart the economy, but funding is largely focused on the near-term.

January 05, 2021

Economic recovery would be strengthened by immigrant-inclusive COVID response

With the onset of winter, it’s clear that the coronavirus and accompanying economic disruption will continue to be with...

Highlighted Research

workers

State of Working Minnesota: Barriers Keep Many from Making Ends Meet

Despite Minnesota's economic recovery from the Great Recession, many Minnesotans have not seen the wage growth we would expect nearly a decade later. And many people still face barriers to finding good jobs and supporting themselves and their families, according to analysis from the Economic Policy Institute. Our State of Working Minnesota report digs deeper into the data.

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